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Russia, Brazil Discussing Move to Settlements in National Currencies

Still early stages in this case, but one thing is clear - Russia wants to move away from the dollar to the extent possible in trade with every mayor nation and trading partner

Originally appeared at Russia Beyond the Headlines

Russia and Brazil are discussing switching to mutual settlements in national currencies, but this discussion is only in its initial stages, First Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei Likhachev said on Sept.15.

"A discussion is being held. Moreover, there is a special working group for financial and banking cooperation within the context of the intergovernmental commission. But it should be noted that, so far, unfortunately, we're at the very initial stage of this discussion," Likhachev told reporters at the business forum Brazil-Russia: Strategic Areas of Cooperation.

He said that the need for using national currencies in mutual settlements is becoming clearer every day.

"This, on one hand, is due to sanctions that are being imposed against a number of Russian companies, and on the other because national currencies' fluctuations against the dollar create additional risks and imbalances in foreign trade," Likhachev said.

"The objective is to move to the most comfortable use of currencies through cooperation in the banking sector. Our working groups, which are headed by our national banks, have received such instructions," Likhachev said.

He said that this discussion will hopefully continue on Sept.16 at a meeting between Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer.

There are no exact timetables or deadlines for creating the necessary conditions, Likhachev added.

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